Just when I thought Nicholas Cage couldn’t get any dumber, he goes and does something like this……..and TOTALLY redeems himself!

When a friend of mine offered me a free ticket to the preview of DRIVE ANGRY 3D, I was immediately pumped, mostly because I’d already seen the trailer and thought to myself “any movie that stars Nicholas Cage as a dead guy who’s ESCAPED FROM HELL to avenge someone or others death literally cannot fail to be a corker” (well, apart from maybe Ghostrider that is). However, when I told people I was going to see it, and indeed when I met up with the dudes I was going to see it with everyone was like “do you even think there’ll be anyone there? I can’t imagine Nicholas Cage has got much pull these days”, and to my utter dismay I found out that apparently the big guy hasn’t got much of a reputation in the movie business anymore (half the guys I went to see it with were some kind of serious film reviewer whereas I, as you will probably realise when reading the rest of this review, am certainly not). I was in disbelief. I didn’t know the guys that well, so it took every ounce of self control I had not to just shout out “Were you not alive in the 90s? Do you not remember Nicholas Cage pumping out blockbusters faster than Charlie Sheen hoovers up lines of coke in the morning? Have you not seen The Rock? Have you not seen Con Air? HAVE YOU NOT SEEN FACE-OFF?” It just failed to register as a possibility in my mind that the guy who not only redefined the word ‘Badass’ in his portrayal of Castor Troy, but also managed to play the same character WITH TWO DIFFERENT FACES IN THE SAME MOVIE could ever be anything less than the most sought after actor in Hollywood. But heck, it’s a fickle business I guess and I’ve heard the remake of The Wicker Man really sucked a whole lot of ass, so I had to keep my objections to their point of view regarding Mr. Cage quiet and wait for him to prove them wrong…. And boy did he prove them wrong.

Anger - pure and simple.

If DRIVE ANGRY 3D sounds dumb on paper, it’s a whole lot dumber on the big screen. The plot isn’t really a whole lot more complicated than I first described it… Nicholas Cage was hangin’ out down in hell, and as some new kind of torment those pesky demon guys figured they would show him his own daughter being killed up on planet earth to really piss him off because he couldn’t do anything about it….. But they’d obviously never got on the wrong side of Nicholas Cage before. Quicker than you can say ‘Snake Eyes’ he’d busted out of the big fiery slammer and was back up on earth, looking for the weird preacher guy who’d killed his daughter and, incidentally, snatched his grand daughter so he could sacrifice her under a full moon and open the gates of hell (seriously, I promise you, I’m not making any of this up). Unfortunately we don’t actually see any of the busting out of hell business (I’m guessing the CGI budget didn’t stretch to it) but I’ll take St. Nick’s word for it. So anyway he’s up on earth, he’s apparently immortal (because obviously you can’t kill someone that’s already dead) and he’s “Not stopping until I’m drinking beer out of that preacher’s skull” (you will not believe how that particular plot line gets taken care of). To complicate matters he’s also got the gatekeeper from hell coming after him to try and take him back, and somehow he’s picked up an absolute babe called ‘Piper’ (Amber Heard) and her pimped out ride from somewhere along the way who will inevitably help/hinder/suprisingly not fall in love with him. He’s also got a gun called THE GOD KILLER but I don’t want to ruin all the surprises for you. With ingredients like this, I couldn’t see how this movie stood a snow-balls chance in hell (get it? hell?) of not being utterly incredible.

The Accountant - a.k.a. The Gatekeeper from Hell. He also poses as an FBI agent.

Now I’ve seen some dumb movies in my time, in fact they could even be described as a specialty of mine. I’ve seen a zombie grandma swell to the size of a house and swallow her fully grown son back into her womb in Brain Dead. I’ve seen Steve Oedekerk with a tiny face on his tongue having a kung-fu ruckus with a dude named Betty in Kung Pow: ‘Enter the Fist’. I’ve even seen Bruce Campbell playing the actual Elvis, pretending to be an Elvis impersonator, trying to track down a killer mummy in an old people’s home with some guy who thinks he’s John F. Kennedy trapped in the body of an old disabled dude in Bubba Ho-Tep. But one thing I never, ever thought I’d see – in a movie or otherwise – was Nicholas Cage killing about 20 bad guys in an entirely slow-mo gun-fight scene…….. while SIMULTANEOUSLY having $ex with an un-named blonde waitress AND smoking a fat Cuban cigar. It doesn’t even seem to phase him very much. This is just one of Milton’s (a.k.a. Cage’s) exploits that make this movie an absolute tubthumper from start to finish, and if that hasn’t convinced you to go see it, then Nicholas Cage probably wouldn’t like you or want your ‘Pansy-Ass’ money anyway.

The Weird Preacher Guy

So obviously I loved it, and that genuinely surprised me considering it’s a 3D movie because I usually hate them. They’re stupid and blurry and generally distract me from seeing what’s actually going on. However DRIVE ANGRY even proved me wrong on that front – maybe Nicholas Cage was also responsible for the 3D in the film as well who knows – because it was ace. In one of the scenes where he fires THE GOD KILLER I literally ducked out the way, possibly with a ‘yelp’, when the bullet (which was about the size of a tree trunk) flew out the screen at me, only presumably to hit the poor douchebag somewhere behind my left shoulder. Rad. Obviously, when we got out of the cinema there were the usual arty, mid 30’s, wannabe film critic types in glasses and scarves talking about how it was ridiculous and awful and ‘a bloody disgrace to cinema’, and all I could think was: “Seriously. You’re going to see a film, starring Nicholas Cage, called DRIVE ANGRY 3D…..what the HELL did you think it was going to be like you massive, MASSIVE sack of faecal matter.” If guys like this are everything that’s wrong with the movie business, then surely Nicholas Cage is everything that’s right with it. He’s fun, he’s tough, he’s not afraid to take his face-off if needs must, but most importantly he’s angry….very, VERY angry, and if that coupled with fast cars, loose women and guns called THE GOD KILLER doesn’t make for a great movie, then I obviously don’t know what does.



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